Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM

Lesson 28 of 35

Mix Changes

 

Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM

Lesson 28 of 35

Mix Changes

 

Lesson Info

Mix Changes

So the next time I talk about how you handle mix changes so I know a lot of people get really bummed out when they get in exchange because they feel like they should send you the perfect mix and this is your vision they should just trust you but that's not the case as we talked about yesterday just as oftentimes in a mix when you're brought in for a fresh perspective because the band's lost objectively while writing the song tracking the song you could lose objectivity because you've been doing you know you just heard the song three hundred times while you mixed it maybe not three hundred but you've heard it a lot you've heard all the individual parts and you may have lost some perspective so pretty much regardless of even if you're mixing your own stuff it's usually good to have somebody else here that you respect whether it's your friend who's also a producer your significant other whoever it's good to get feedback it's good tio you know I like the old ronald reagan saying and surpri...

se the only thing I like about the man is trust but verify you know I think you should be trusted when you mix and there's a part that somebody should have humility that this is what you thought you should do but we also need to check has no one's perfect and we need to make sure things were ok um I like to say often times on guy think kurt echoed dissonances cost that bad records are made when everybody gets their way um that compromise and letting everybody run wild with their opinions is not good so what I mean by this is I often when I'm doing mixes with the band I have to write them a letter and say I want to only do changes that you all agree on so why is this because every time you send a mixed to a band with a drummer who likes to do crazy travis barker fills he wonders why his drums aren't louder than the vocal and obviously the drums are louder than the vocal because the vocals what's actually important and the drummer as a bad ego are huge ego I should say we all need tio talk amongst each other and be a check and balance in a group and it really is helpful to have an opinion that eh consortium that like you know a consensus I should say that you know this is what's best for the song this is what we're trying to do it it's also your job is the mixer when somebody says something like that drummer says it and then maybe the guitarist sides with them because he's his b f f that you have to convince them that that that it's not going to sell the song is sixty b'more of drums when really? The drums were already loud and clear sometimes this could be done by playing the mother records because they're just ignoring the fact that other records aren't the drums are at this loud you show them a few comparisons, but part of your job is a mixer is too not blindly defend your mix I think you should consider every change and make sure you're right and yet again verify that you are correct like I love checking and then proving myself right if I'm right, but I'm glad that somebody second guess me because oftentimes somebody second guessing you could also bring out the best in you, you know? Somebody could say, you know, I was really hoping for more effects of that bridge and I could say, you know, I will be honest, I didn't try like two other thoughts I had and then all of a sudden you have time to try those other two thoughts it's really good to get that feedback if you're open and have a positive attitude towards it. Um so the other thing that I wanted a part on you though, is you need to be able to demonstrate why some of these ideas are bad and I think that that takes time like, you know, which turned the vocal up louder play the mother mixes that they're compared the record two and make sure that that is the right decision you know, explain to them what you think it sells the song what you think is the focus of a sort of explain to them why you know if they want the song even louder and mastered pegged that you don't need to have the loudest record in the world anymore that a lot of things we're getting on normalized so the other thing about mix it changes you know are you mixing for yourself or the client? I have two ways that this goes down a lot of the time and you know, I mix so often other people's records and it all depends on if they tell me you know, a lot of the time they say just make you happy we want to have your vision on this but the other thing about it is is does the client have a specific vision in mind? You know, a lot of time as I talked about in previous days is I ask the client five records they like the sound of um this allows me to know if they like raw guitars really tuned vocals if they like really loud vocals if they like really triggered drums or really natural drums really roomy drum sounds really tight drum sounds so if you're going to mix for the client, you really need to do this if you're just gonna give your perspective do it often times I'll tell the client after the first mix that this is my first impression I'd like youto consider that, but if you have changes, I can pretty much do anything you'd like, and sure enough, if they thought that the drum sound was too tight, I'll said the board back with tons boardroom bike in about an hour um, I constantly print mixes I like versus what I feel like they asked me to do so, there's a lot of times that the musician will say something that you think it's a terrible idea, or they give you changes and you think, it's a terrible idea, I often will get four changes on a mix and three of the by totally agree with, and one of them, I think, is the worst idea. I will take that four minutes to print a second version without the one change they asked for and then with so they know they can hear it their way. But then also, I'll write them an email and say, I think this song is a lot better like this. I'd like you to consider it because oftentimes this is that last change that you don't agree with is the basis idea. And, you know, we know what happens to the basis when you try one of his songs, it's, the last thing he does before he's fired it's just a bad idea and so I'll convince him of that of playing it from two ways it would they hear my pushback though often trust me um so predict you mixes those four minutes of we'll also make them feel like you value their opinion that want to keep working with you, not just you ignoring their change. Um, so the other bit of advice I have whenever you get mixed changes is that you should get times. So one of the most annoying things in an email I write whenever I deliver mixes howto get exchanges is you want them to write down the time or something happens because the biggest thing I've noticed is that ban says so in the chorus when this happens and then you turn up the guitars in the course they're like that's not the course that's the verse and you're like that is totally the verse that the course, etcetera, etcetera, you're totally wrong just get a time times are absolute, especially if you bounce a file down, you can see where you started that file where you bounced it and you know exactly where is the worst thing I get is a singer is like, I can't hear the when I say the word her well, you say her twenty times in the song which one did you mean and their ways he everyone can see a time on their ipod their cd player wherever they're wising to the mix there's a time on that song let them hit play on that get the time everybody will speak to say my under your mix changes will be done faster um my other caution is is that you should never get ignore or get annoyed at these requested changes I kind of just touched upon this but like ignoring changes is when I get a record from a band the first thing they usually say I say oh how what was it like rick, according with the person who recorded before they said he ignored all our mix changes, which is why it they expand is not back at that guy's studio and they're now with me if you want a long lasting career in this be humble let people here their songs the way they want to hear him they will respect you will want to keep working with you if you don't do that I guarantee you're going to be wondering why you don't have more work you like I said, you need to get good at convincing them that you're right but you also have to do their changes for them. I would also say this that you want to encourage ideas that I think it's often for the best of the storm especially when you're working with creative grated musicians to not just say this is the final mix, I say, and if anybody has an ingrid ideas, let me know I'll print off three more mixes if I have to it if these ideas are great so that we have a book before and after maybe a middle ground, you know, this is how great records are made when I've been in the studio with humongous bands, you know, what often is happening is one of the guys has a great idea that we all overworked and that's what makes the song and sometimes it's a bad idea and we go back to the other version, but you want a check and make sure that you were you got it right um, so the other bit bit of advice I'll give is that if you've been hired to mix, get paid and invents, so in my fifteen years of doing this there's only one person in the music business who will always be money still on it's been about ten years and that one mistake I made is that I gave mixes before they paid I I don't care if this is my best friend, I don't care if this is my total stranger you're paying me for my time, I give a reasonable rate for this time, but I'm going to be paid for this time and you don't get to hear the mix until I'm paid I know that could be hard when you first start working, but the one problem is is that once you've delivered mixes to somebody, they can just take them and run with them and never pay you you have to explain this to your clients and that will get you paid, so get paid advance the others think I'll cautious that some people say, well, I said the baby threes I work in a mastering house and I've worked at west west side, there was times that we'd get the mp three mixes, and they say we just need this master, I'm not paying this guy, and then you have to get in an ethical dilemma about this, and I actually when I get mp three's to make, I have to make sure I look up the studios of days, so I make sure that these persons getting paid, I'll say I won't master this until you're paid, especially if it's a friend of mine, but this stuff happens all the time. There is, if case you haven't noticed there's tons of musicians with horrible ethics out there, I imagine if you're older than fifteen, you've come to that conclusion already. Um so the other thing I will say is if you're mixing your own material, you need to know when to stop I kind of mentioned this a little yesterday that I often even for me and I'm never mixing my own material cause I don't make my own music still I print a mix the second I'm first happy with it I get up, go to the bathroom, check twitter or something and I take those three or four minutes I just printed down while I'm happy so I make sure I don't overdo it and often times like I said the other day is that my mix at our for is way better than my mix it our six maybe it's that were five mix but it could be really good to do this and go back and listen and see which one's best so we touched upon developing standards over the past two days and how you do this I wanted in part a little bit more wisdom on how you develop these standards is that it could be really hard to hear mix as a whole just the records you wish to do and say you know that's how a kick drum should sound when I it's done before I should start mixing it I want to give some advice that there is tons of records where stems are available for remixes we put up some that I did from a band called the color nothing if you go to the color nothing dot com you can download one of the examples we did from this indaba music is always having remix contests that spelled I n d a b a dot com it might be in double music dot com read it has a whole subreddit called isolated vocals where you could hear what it sounds like when just the vocal soloed on tons of the biggest tracks ever. I don't want to condone torrents, but if you look up multitrack file torrents, there is so money files leaked from when garage band was popular, where you can hear just the guitar just the base from some of the biggest songs that I've ever been around. Not that I'm condoning you do illegal downloading or anything but the band phoenix and nine inch nails both always are putting out stems and the full multitrack files for the records nine inch nails and phoenix both put up the pro jewel sessions for their ah records without any plug ins on him, so you could hear what goes on in those files you could remix, um, do your own thing downloading all the stuff, especially those two records or tracked so well, you could hear what a track really should sound like and there's lots of diverse program material in that, um and the other thing is to his swap files with friends like warren, what sounds good bye working other people's stuff. If you really want to get good at this, you have to hear what kick drums could sound good and what other people do with that final product? Like I said, like having other people mix your stuff, you can hear the possibilities I can remember. A decade ago I had a song I attract but mixed by a guy named dave trump fios fantastic engineer and I heard the way he mixed the stair and it changed my life that I never knew I could get a stair some like that I talked to him and he didn't even use a trigger and was just the way I tracked that I never have got my stairs to sell like that. Now I get my stairs to sell like that all the time it could be so eye opening to hear this stuff. So whether it's hiring somebody swapping mixes with a friend going on read it too we are the music makers and making friends with people on swapping things do it so you learn to know what things are and you can develop your standards and I'll make you a much, much better mixing engineer now I'm done all right? So on the topic of uh so I think just really the only question we have, but we're getting close to a break, so going back to automation think this is an interesting one I am searched from canada automating level versus gain when and why and they were talking about it in the in the chat room kind of discussing it amongst themselves but automated level versus gain meaning clip gain I mean, I guess I'm going to answer it for example, you know, you could put a gain, you know, plug in on the channel stripping automate that can automate the level of the fisher is there difference that matter? I'm like I kind of got into is that a lot of time like the reason I was gaining those snares down um and the files I want them to hit the compressor um so you're automating gain in the file or clip gain being before any of the dynamics process that goes on yes, I think that that's could be a great way to get a smoother sound there's oftentimes you want this to hit the compressor where it's more natural in the performance than after the fact I think you have the word what you like about that, like, like I said did the earlier example, I was automating the drums down in the gain beforehand so that they would hit the compressor properly because I didn't want it to be um I just tend to find that sounds more right to my ear, but with the symbols I don't find that that ever sounds more rights, meyer so I do it that way I think you have to experiment. Same thing with vocals. A lot of the time, if I could do it in the file before all the dynamics, just the same way that it's harder to d s, a vocal that's, compressed, it's way easier to automate down stuff before it actually hits all that compression a lot of the time, vice versa. There are some things that that is a little different. I think it's more about getting to know this and tried both processes and fighting something that works for you.

Class Description

While it’s easy to get distracted by the latest and greatest gear, plugins, and flashy tricks, the real key to a great mix is mastering the fundamentals. In this online class, veteran producer/engineer/mixer Jesse Cannon (The Cure, Animal Collective, Senses Fail) shows you all the essentials of mixing rock and electronic music.

In this 3-day class, you’ll learn how to set up a session the RIGHT way — including routing, gain structure, listening techniques, and other best practices. He’ll show you how to mix vocals, bass, drums, guitars, and synths. You’ll also learn how to use compression, reverb and EQ to make your mix come together, while achieving the punch and separation that takes it from good to great. The class is taught with Pro Tools, but the concepts easily translate to any DAW.

Whether you’re new to mixing, or are a seasoned pro looking for a refresher on the basics, this class will teach you how to seamlessly merge individual sounds into polished, cohesive tracks.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

I just want to say I have watched a lot of the tutorials on the creative live site, all dealing with audio. And I was so impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of Jesse. This guy walks the walk and talks the talk. Anyone who is an engineer or who wants to become and engineer this is a treasure chest of knowledge.I went to an audio school and we had seminars all the time. A workshop like this will really advance you. And I mean that from an engineers point of view but also that of a consumer because I watched the course for free and a couple of days later I bought the course. You may be thinking to yourself I just can't afford it. You can't afford not to invest in yourself and education. Creative live is a great site and a wealth of knowledge. Thank you very much to Jesse Cannon. Great workshop. You guys at creative live need to bring him back again.

a Creativelive Student
 

Excelent class! Suitable for all levels of mixers & musicians. Jesse is real pro, and knowledge what he gives cost much more than 149$! CrativeLive, please make recording & producing tutorial from Jesse, i'll praise you!